Using Google Reader — TDC Preseason (Week 4)

Once you sign up for an account in Google Reader, you need to fill it with the so called RSS feeds. Very unimpressive name, but RSS feeds are very important. All blogs, news sites and every major services like Twitter, FriendFeed, and a whole bunch of sites have RSS feed. It is a way to sharing information.

Simply put, it is a way for you to get completely informed about what’s going on with your particular niche right across the Internet. You can stay updated about Internet marketing and also your own hobby.

You are able to process a lot of information in such an efficient way that it will blow you away.

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Setup Flock Browser to Use Google Reader

First off, you need to setup your Flock browser so it uses Google Reader by default when you click on a feed. Here’s how you do it.

Feeds Tab in Flock

  1. Go to ToolsOptions (Windows) or in Mac FlockPreferences.
  2. Choose the Feeds tab (seethe screenshot above).
  3. As you don’t want to use Flock feed reader, you choose Subscribe to the feed using radio button.
  4. Make sure Google is selected. Your list may be a bit different from mine but you should be able to find Google in it.
  5. Click on the Ok button. Mac users can just close the Preferences dialog box.

Again, see the screenshot above for the right options.

Google Reader Intro Video

If you’ve never used Google Reader before, you will see an introduction video on the right hand column. Watch it. It is a great introduction to Google Reader. Alternatively, watch it below.

It provides some basic information about the benefits on using content feed.

Find RSS Feeds

What you must do straightaway is go to Thirty Day Challenge blog. You can also access this by going to your TDC toolbar.

You will find an orange radar icon besides the address bar of your Flock browser. It represents RSS feed(s). Click on it to see a list of RSS feeds that are available on the site you are viewing. In TDC blog, there will only be one feed, as you see below.

RSS Feed Icon in Flock

All you need to do is click on the feed to proceed to the Add to Google page.

Add a Feed to Google Reader

You may add this feed to your Google homepage, but what you want to focus now is Google Reader, so click on that.

Google Share Feature in Google Reader

Up pops a small notification window that explains about the new Share with friends feature.

Your Reader shared items are being made available to your friends from Google Talk. You can see what these friends are sharing; they can see what you are sharing, and that you use Reader. Your friends will appear once they’ve logged into Reader.

This is going to be a great feature during TDC to share information with your team.

When you are prompted with tips, messages and other stuff, make sure your read them if you are new to Google Reader or RSS feeds in general.

Tips in Google Reader

As you can see next is the content window on the right hand column of the browser. Click on the feed to display specific content for that feed.

Google Reader Summary Screen

Google Reader Feed Screen

Add Twitter Feed to Google Reader

If you have gone through the previous videos or summaries, you should have followed to Ed’s and Dan’s in Twitter. You may want to add to your feed reader too.

Now go to Ed’s Twitter home page.

As you may have guessed it correctly, we are looking for RSS feed in the page. See Find RSS Feeds section above if you don’t know how to locate RSS feeds in Flock.

You should see two RSS feeds in the list. Click on the Ed Dale and friends from the drop down menu and proceed to add feed to your Google Reader account. The difference with no friend is that you will also get the tweets from Ed’s friends. That may be helpful if you also want to track the conversations between Ed and his friends.

Adding Twitter Search (Summazie) Feed

(Update: Twitter has acquired Summize.)

Go to Twitter Search and perform a search, such as “#30DC” (without the quotes. As you may recall, the # (hash) symbol means event in Twitter, so we are looking for people who are mentioning #30dc.

Searching in Twitter Search

You’ll see a list of results like the following.

Twitter Search Result

Every time people put #30dc in their tweets, all of them are available in the search result. There is also a feed associated with this. As a practice, try add this feed to your Google Reader.

RSS feed from Twitter Search

Bonus Tip: There is also an available search engine on this page. You can add that to your Search Elsewhere list on your Flock browser.

(Note: People who read this summary will get the tips mentioned in the video too!)

Adding Twitter Search to Flock

Click on the search option and see what happens.

Added Twitter Search to Flock

The Twitter Search function is available in the Search Elsewhere drop down menu. If you do a search and choose Twitter Search you will get Twitter search result for the keyword you enter. You may as well subscribe the feed to your Google Reader.

With RSS feed, monitoring anything within your niche with search is possible. This is very powerful.

Adding Google News Search to Google Reader

Google search result doesn’t have an RSS feed. However, if you go to Google Alerts, you can perform the same search and subscribe to the RSS feed. Here’s how you could do it.

Click on more and choose even more.

Accessing Google Alerts

Let’s perform a search of trout fishing and click Create Alert. Notice that Google automatically fills in the options for you, but you can choose different ones as you wish. You can also manage your subscriptions later.

Options for Google Alerts

The search is now available in your Google Alerts’ subscription list.

Google Alerts Subscription

Click on the trout fishing link to go to news search result, and look up there in the feed area: an orange icon, which means there is a feed for this page. Subscribe this feed (or any keyword search related to your niche) to Google Reader.

Shortcut Tip: You don’t have to go to Google Alerts at all, especially if you want to avoid subscribing to the alerts via email. Just go to Google News, do a search on any keyword, and lo and behold, the RSS feed appears in the address bar too.

You will add a whole lot more tracking and other feeds later in 30DC, but for now make sure you subscribe to the Thirty Day Challenge feed in your Google Reader account.

All of the sudden, all of the information that is related to your niche is being sucked in to one spot. You don’t have to visit each sites separately just to get information.

When you visit the blog or site, pay attention to the little orange radar icon, this can help you a lot. See the next video or summary for a life-changing tip regarding Google Reader.

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